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"We're better together"; Cumbernauld MP chairs Better Together public meeting

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 17:24 GMT on Friday, June 21st, 2013.

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20-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Better Together public meeting, at Cumbernauld's Cornerstone House.
The stage is set for a referendum battle. Image is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

PEOPLE of all political parties – and none – went along to a public meeting, organised by the pro-UK, anti-independence campaign, Better Together, last night. 

Held at Cumbernauld’s Cornerstone House, the meeting was chaired by Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Labour MP, Gregg McClymont, with Better Together’s Director of Communications, Rob Shorthouse also in attendance as the guest speaker.

The public meeting follows Better Together’s official launch, at St. Mungo’s Parish Church, at the start June, with Gregg McClymont MP opening last night’s meeting by thanking those who attended the event, on June 1st. 

Mr McClymont added: “This meeting – as well as our campaign’s launch, three weeks ago – is the nuts and bolts of this referendum campaign and I would begin by thanking all of those who attended the launch; there must have been about fifty people there, so thank you. “

The Labour member then handed the meeting over to Mr Shorthouse who began by thanking the attendees for “giving up the sun”.

20-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Better Together public meeting, at Cumbernauld's Cornerstone House.
Mr Shorthouse on left, McClymont, right.  Image is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

Mr Shorthouse continued: “Politics is truly local, and Better Together is aiming to emulate this, in this campaign, by ensuring a community focus and helping local groups to get organised and start campaigning. 

“I’ve been to many local meetings, such as this, and all of them say the same thing – our local group structure is great, with local residents, in groups across Scotland, coming out to fight for a strong Scotland, in the United Kingdom.”

Mr Shorthouse went on to say that Better Together’s first anniversary will be on Tuesday (June 25th), suggesting that before Better Together’s national launch, “people viewed independence as inevitable”, adding: “Salmond was making people think that Scotland was on the quick march towards separation.

“The truth is, that after Better Together launched, people began to see Salmond’s ploy and not fall for it. Since then, the Nationalists have made a dogs dinner of their campaign; saying one thing in public and another in private, something we witnessed when the secret cabinet document was leaked, showing cuts to defence and cuts in spending would follow separation.

“Scotland could have chosen to have separated years ago – throughout the past 300 years, but we never have because Scotland doesn’t want separation, and this is shown in the opinions of the Nationalists, whose main difficulty seems to come from the fact that they, themselves, don’t have belief in what they’re saying; Salmond didn’t enter politics to maintain the Monarchy and keep the pound.

“For all that the Nationalists say, we challenger; for whatever they do, we are there to take them on; because there are a million more things that unite us than divide us, and I would appeal for all of you to get involved and not wake up on Friday 19th September 2014, in a land shaped by Alex Salmond, asking why you hadn’t done more.”

Following Mr Shorthouse’s comments, chair McClymont opened up the meeting to the floor, allowing attendees to have their say. 

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Local resident and historian, Paul Carter, of the Friends of Kelvin Valley, was the first to speak. He spoke of how the Nationalists want “families to become foreigners”.

Mr Carr said: “I was born in England and moved up to Scotland in later life, where I started and brought up my family. There are five of us, in my family, and after separation four of us would become foreigners, which is absolutely ridiculous; the Nationalists’ plans would have us separating families and to suggest that Scotland would become a nation-state, allowing for rUK social union, is simply nonsense, as nation-states are different from each other.”

Another Cumbernauld resident was also quick to make his views known. Jim Brown spoke of how success, he felt, devolution had been to Scotland.

Mr Brown said: “We’ve got devolution, so we don’t need separation. Salmond is thinking about borders, different passports and the Euro, all things that we clearly don’t want, because we have devolution; moulded by great minds, such as Smith and Dewar.”

Former Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP, Cathie Craigie was next to speak at the meeting. The former Labour member of Holyrood for Cumbernauld said that the mixture of party-political views at the meeting demonstrated people believed Scotland should vote no to independence, and stay in the United Kingdom. 

20-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Better Together public meeting, at Cumbernauld's Cornerstone House.
Mrs Cathie speaks out at meeting.  Image is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

Mrs Craigie said: “Looking around this room it is clear that there is an excellent mix of people in attendance, with a number of different parties represented, with some, that I am aware of, not in political parties at all. This clearly shows that the people of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth believe that are truly better together.” 

20-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Better Together public meeting, at Cumbernauld's Cornerstone House.
Public sign up to Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Better Together.  Image is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

At the end of the meeting, Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East told the attendees: “Clearly, from this meeting, we are well covered across the community, with people here tonight representing a wide-spread opinion of people across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth. 

“It’s going to be good campaign, and so I would say it starts here; to get out into the community and explain to people why we feel that we are better together.” 


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